E30 vs E36 - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 10-23-2003, 01:36 PM
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IS there a significant difference in maintenenace costs between an E30 and an E36? I'm thinking that with the lack of electronics in E30 BMWs, like in the E36 models, that there would be at least a slight difference between the two. However, considering the age of E30 models that may/probably drives the costs of parts up to a point where they are on par with the cost of E36 parts. Any ideas? ANd I'm not talking about mods, just simple maintenance/parts replacement.

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#2 (permalink) Old 10-23-2003, 04:52 PM
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the E30 cabrios ran till 92 or 93, so there is a chance you can find one with decent mileage. the e30 318iC's used the same engines as the E36 318 cabrios, which have been proven very reliable. so the main thing you gotta worry about is the little stuff that is bound to wear out with age, that is if everything else was maintained properly. like the gauge cluster, most require a refurbished SI board, but its better usually to replace the whole thing which could cost around $50-$300 depending on if you go to the dealer or not. the ABS voltage regulator is also known to go out, another $300+ dealer fix. but if you test drive a e30 and it feels nice and solid and there's no noticeable defects in the ride or handling then it should be a safe buy. there's not many problems that are cabrio specific on e30's since theyve been around since 87. also if you look at 325iC's then you gotta worry about when the timing belt was last replaced.
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#3 (permalink) Old 10-23-2003, 04:58 PM
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Thanks MrM3!

So the little stuff on an e30 could potentially cost less to replace than the little stuff on an e36? I'm being redundant here but I want to cover all my bases. Thanks, especially, for the timing belt heads up. I forgotten that the e30s used a belt instead of a chain. Regardless, any idea of what it would cost to replace the belt (ballpark)?

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#4 (permalink) Old 10-23-2003, 05:09 PM
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hmm, i really dont know about the timing belt. i got mine done along with a bunch of other stuff. but i would guess around 3-500, depending on labor rates. the 318's however do use timing chains. i was just saying the little stuff on e30's may need replacing due to age, there probably around the same price as the e36 gadgets. i just helped a friend sell a 91 318iC, and it had a pretty rough past, but there was still a few small things that started going wrong when we were trying to sell it. we ended up selling it with a broken tach, blown shock, worn control arms, small oil leak, rotting muffler, and a dead obc light. so make sure you have any car your interested in inspected
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